Dust Forecasting In The Hunter Valley, Australia
Free (open access)
275 - 286
Coal mining is one of the main industries in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales (NSW), Australia. From an environmental perspective, dust and the contribution from mining is a key topic of discussion by industry, regulators and the community. While measured dust levels are influenced by many sources, the local mining industry generally aims to manage site emissions as far as is reasonably practicable. To assist with the management of dust emissions from coal mines in the Hunter Valley, the Australian Coal Association Research Program funded a project (C19034) to develop an emission estimation and air dispersion modelling system. This paper describes the system and its key outcomes. The main objective of the system is to issue dust and meteorological forecasts so that operations can plan for and implement suitable emission reduction measures in advance of potentially adverse conditions. The system makes use of the CSIRO’s computer-based air dispersion model known as TAPM (The Air Pollution Model). This model is provided with estimates of mine site dust emissions and forecasts of meteorological conditions to predict ambient dust concentrations in the Hunter Valley, for up to two days in advance. Dust concentrations are represented as an air quality index, consistent with the approach adopted by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Forecasts are delivered via a daily email and detailed system outputs are uploaded to a dedicated web-site that can be accessed at any time by relevant stakeholders. Interest in the system has grown since its development and the main factor for the take up appears to be the simplistic nature of the outputs. Further work could involve improving the emission estimation, especially during rainfall events, to improve the overall performance of the system.
mining, forecasting, dust, TAPM, environmental